Raiders of the Living Dead (1986)

 

What can be more exciting around Halloween than zombies? Zombies are a big draw in recent years with TV series like AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, and several big budget films that feature the undead. With that thought in mind, now think back to the days of your youth when we all would stay up late to watch “Up All Night” on the USA Network. We stayed up late because we knew those B-movies were cheesy, and although edited of all the gore and skin, we movies our parents didn’t want us watching. What we tend to forget however, was the fact there were some really crappy movies shown during that segment. I believe that I have uncovered the daddy of them all as it relates to awful B-movies, Raiders of the Living Dead. I thought that might be something related to Halloween in the 85 minutes of film, but I was proven wrong yet again. So, if you are brave enough to search for this movie in your video stream, I suggest that you put it on fast forward and just read through the highlights from the movie we’ve provided. Trust me, you’ll get more for the highlights than you would from the film anyway.

Streaming on: Hulu+

Directed by: Samuel Sherman

Starring: Scott Schwartz, Robert Deveau, Donna Asali, Bob Allen

Tagline: They hunt down Zombies who feed on Human meals.

Number of soundtrack sales:  Zero!

Synopsis:

As the film begins, a terrorist hijacks a tank truck and takes it, the driver, and some casual hostages into a chemical plant, where he is overpowered and killed by a tough black cop with a bit of a strut. Why do I mention this? I don’t know as it has nothing, and I mean nothing to do with the rest of the film. A newspaper reporter follows a story out to an old correctional institute where he believes something unnatural is going on. After he is chased from the facility by something scary, he is bound and determined to get to the bottom of what he saw. Not worried one bit that the lady he went out there with is now a zombie snack. After being picked up on the road by a “concerned citizen”, Morgan the reporter, develops a crush for his savior and together they go out and laugh uncontrollably at a Three Stooges movie.(At this point, you might be starting to wonder, what is the point of this movie? Trust me, I watched the whole thing and still don’t know.)

Enter Jonathan, a budding Einstein who likes to take apart old electronics and accidentally make a laser gun out of it. After a series of choppy events, Morgan ends up boarding up for the night at the home of Jonathan and his grandfather, who tells them both of his suspicions about the zombies. To make a long, drawn out, boring story short, after learning that a doctor was bringing corpses back to life via his experiments (for not explained reasons) Morgan, grandfather, and Jonathan return to the island of zombies and clean house. Oh yes, all with the help of Jonathan’s supped up laser gun.

What you Would be Missing:

  • Corny soundtrack. This soundtrack is all over the place right from the get go. Adventurous? Whimsical? 80’s Prime Time?
  • Remember when cell phones had an antenna as long as your arm?
  • Stupid terrorist vs cocky black cop in cat and mouse game through a power plant ends in a shocking result.
  • Long scene of the tearing apart of a Laser Disc player…and some really crappy music. That kid can really go to town with a pair of needle nosed pliers, a screwdriver, and some electrical tape.
  • WARNING REMOVAL OF COVER EXPOSES HAZARDOUS VOLTAGES! Stupid kid.
  • One dead hamster. Way to take one for the team Felix. No doubt the best acting in the movie so far.
  • Good lord, the girl is an even worse actor than anyone else. Listening to their flirtacious banter back and forth is enough to throw up in your mouth.
  • Zombie attack
  • Ahh…the days when someone could walk into a gun store, purchase a snub nosed rifle and walk out with it.
  • Does anyone really laugh that hard at a Three Stooges movie?
  • Surely in 1986, films were able to create better visual laser effects than this.
  • Long sequences without any dialogue, don’t know why I’m complaining the dialogue hasn’t done anything for the film up to this point.
  • Old lady with a lisp telling local history. She looks as though she might be a zombie herself.
  • The cutaways are almost as if there were commercial breaks in the film.
  • Has there been any mention about how bad the music is?
  • Zombie Attack!! Just what exactly are they doing to that poor guy? Use your gun dummy, use your gun!
  • Apparently church bells are a zombie alarm clock.
  • Zombies appear randomly out of different doors in the prison, followed by a montage of lame zombie killings.
  • Oh come on, lasers and arrows won’t kill zombies. Everyone knows that you have to shoot them in the head.
  • What? That’s the end? What the hell just happened? Be damned sure that I’m not going to rewind and watch again to find out.

Quality Dialogue:

“You look like a guy who has a pretty interesting story if a person wanted to pry.”

“I know it sounds crazy, but I think someone has found a way to bring dead bodies back to life.”

“Hear the footsteps, noises at night.- Something’s burning, fire burning bright. – Keeps getting closer, chills me to my soul. – They come to get me, hear the Devil call. – The Dead are after me! – I said the Dead are after me!”

Let me sum up this film quickly and painlessly – TOTAL SHITE! I realize that there wasn’t much of a budget to make the film, but come on. This one is really BAD. The script seemed as though is was made up on the fly as they were filming as there were many, many continuity issues, bad editing,  and plot holes. The acting was nothing short of atrocious as well as the dialogue. But the absolute worst part of the film in my opinion was the very awkward and undeniably horrible soundtrack. The film was filled with bad 80’s TV drama music that didn’t match the film at all. And what made it worse was that there were several scenes of no dialogue (even though things were going on) and it was filled with this crappy music. Ugh… Without question, this film gets the ultimate 5 out of 5 turds.

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2 thoughts on “Raiders of the Living Dead (1986)

  1. James says:

    You gotta love yourself some good 80s cheese!

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